Drilling taps exceptional gold at Donlin
Results continue to validate new geological model for deposit North of 60 Mining News – September 3, 2021
Last updated 9/2/2021 at 3:38pm
With grades as high as 42.2 g/t gold over 5.74 meters, this year's drilling at Donlin Gold continues to tap fantastic zones of mineralization within this 39-million-ounce gold deposit in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region of Southwest Alaska.
"As with last year's program, drilling has delivered multiple examples of outstanding gold intercepts," said Novagold Resources Inc. President and CEO Greg Lang.
Being carried out by Donlin Gold LLC, a joint venture partnership owned equally by Novagold and Barrick Gold Corp., the 2021 drill program is primarily focused on completing the work necessary to validate and increase the confidence in recent geologic modeling concepts.
This first batch of results is from approximately 7,500 meters of drilling, which includes complete results from 18 holes and partial assays from 11 others.
Donlin Gold said the initial results indicate variable controls on mineralization in different deposit areas, with more continuous mineralization hosted in intrusives within the ACMA area and more discrete intervals occurring in the sediments and intrusives at Lewis.
Significant new high-grade drill hole intercepts at ACMA and in areas between ACMA and Lewis point toward potential feeder zones of the world-class gold system at Donlin.
Highlights from the 2021 drill results received so far include:
• 92.02 meters averaging 7.8 g/t gold from a depth of 69.7 meters in hole DC21-1970. Several high-grade subintervals were encountered within this intercept, including 5.18 meters of 33.7 g/t starting at a drill depth of 146.03 meters.
• 40.97 meters averaging 10.5 g/t gold from a depth of 114.2 meters in DC21-1963A, including 14.96 meters of 22.2 g/t gold from 117.24 meters.
• 47.78 meters averaging 9 g/t gold from a depth of 400.51 meters in DC21-1969, including 11.98 meters of 13.9 g/t gold from 414.41 meters.
• 24.44 meters averaging 14.6 g/t gold from a depth of 378.85 meters in DC21-1959, including 6.5 meters of 33.5 g/t gold from 386.79 meters.
• 5.74 meters averaging 42.2 g/t gold from a depth of 275.54 meters in hole DC21-1961, including 4.74 meters of 50.8 g/t gold.
The assays and logging of core from the optimization drilling at Donlin further increases confidence in recent geologic modeling concepts.
"The 2021 drill program is validating our geologic modeling concepts; in particular with regards to demonstrating the controls over mineralization in the different parts of the deposits," said Barrick Gold President and CEO Mark Bristow. "This improved understanding is a necessary step towards optimizing the mine design and progressing the project up the value chain."
This progress up the value chain includes an expected updated resource estimate and feasibility study for the world-class gold deposit.
"Excellent results, such as those reported today, reinforce our belief in the uniqueness of an asset like Donlin Gold, whose combination of outstanding size, quality, and exploration upside are clearly among the only answers to an industry defined by an era of declining reserves, lackluster gold grades and ever-increasing jurisdictional risk," said Lang.
To further test the continuity of gold mineralization in a targeted area of the ACMA deposit, Donlin Gold has decided to add roughly 4,000 meters of drilling in 15 holes to the originally planned 20,000-meter drill program slated for this year.
Donlin Gold General Manager Dan Graham is particularly proud of the health, safety, and environmental record of the crew.
"We have operated a clean camp for the second season in a row amidst the COVID pandemic, exceeded our productivity rates, while maintaining an excellent safety and environmental record," he said. "During the 2021 drill program, 70% of our direct hires were shareholders from Calista Corporation, which included the new camp catering contract with a Calista subsidiary. Worker safety, environmental stewardship, and benefits to the region remain top priorities for Donlin Gold."